The editorial mission statement from our 1997 inaugural issue of Insurance Networking and Data Management reflected the industry's overarching requirements: "Every issue promises you, our readers, comprehensive and credible information on the most important data access, electronic networking and electronic commerce issues that are revolutionizing the nation's insurance industry."At a time when e-commerce was dawning, IT spending on these technologies was a mandate: Carriers were charged with keeping pace in order to remain competitive.

What has changed since then?

For the past 10 years and beyond, the insurance industry has been accused of being conservative and risk-averse, charges that apply to both business and technology strategies. Over the past 10 years, we've watched combined ratios fluctuate, and the industry has experienced its share of business cycles. We've seen Y2K and the dot-com era come and go. We've seen regulatory compliance requirements increase in intensity and volume. Yet, as a whole, insurers across all lines of business have experienced relatively steady growth.

Today's "digital universe" of data that's stored, transferred and ultimately, turned into actionable information is expected to grow at a rate of 57% per year, according to EMC Corp., Hopkinton, Mass. While wireless networks have greatly enhanced insurers' ability to conduct business electronically, other advances such as nanotechnology, and the risks associated with it, have at the same time made things more complicated. In order to remain competitive, insurers are now challenged with maintaining a faster pace than ever.

The reason we launched a print publication in 1997 is the same reason we publish in print and online media today: Insurance executives require critical information about technologies and solutions that will enable them to make better business decisions. Today's promise is as solid as the one made 10 years ago-to deliver comprehensive and credible information on the technologies that have the potential to support insurers' business objectives and affect the business decisions that enable those in the industry to compete and thrive.

Thank you to our 23,000-strong reader base for your continued support; your feedback is as valued today as it was in 1997. And thank you to the solution providers that provide the innovative technology and guidance that make it possible for our readers to remain competitive.

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